New York Senator Chuck Schumer spoke to the Jewish group Agudath Israel on Sunday at the New York Hilton and described two joyous events, one being his parents’ anniversary.
While we’re here with mishpocheh [extended family], I have two simchas [joyous events]. Six weeks ago my daughter got married. When she talked about him she said she had a boyfriend named Shappy and I was a little worried, because Shappy doesn’t sound like a Jewish last name. But that was his nickname; his last name is Shapiro. He’s a wonderful boy and we’re very happy.
Let’s talk about Schumer’s “worry.” First we need to acknowledge who is allowed to have that “worry.” Our culture says parents are not allowed to be “worried” about race, creed, color, religion, gender. Your daughter is bringing home her new friend, you better not be “worried,” whoever is attached. It is supposed to be all the same to the parent. There is apparently one exception to all of this.
When Debbie Wasserman Schultz told a Jewish audience “we have the problem of intermarriage,” she was compelled to apologize for the statement a day or two later. Maybe because she is so powerful– being the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Schumer is one of ten Jewish senators; and Jews can’t really describe themselves as outsiders in the US power structure. And as Cliff Wolf of the American Jewish Committee said very sensibly at a Jewish event at SUNY Purchase two weeks ago, other American religious groups such as Protestants and Catholics are experiencing the same rates of intermarriage as Jews are. We are all Americans, he said.